Union Pacific Ordered To Reinstate Worker Fired After Reporting Injury

Railroad company to pay $85,000 in damages

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A lawsuit involving a worker who was fired after falling out of a chair has landed Union Pacific in the hot seat, now that they've been ordered to reinstate him and pay $85,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

The employee, who filed a workplace-injury report after hurting his back falling out of a chair at a railroad terminal, was fired in violation of whistleblower protection laws, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined.

"An employer does not have the right to retaliate against employees who report work-related injuries and safety concerns," Marcia Drumm, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Kansas City, told Omaha.com. "Whistleblower protections play an important role in keeping workplaces safe. Workers should never be forced to choose between safe work practices and keeping their job."

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Filing injury reports is protected under federal railroad law; the OSHA's investigation concluded that the firing was an unlawful act of retaliation, and that Union Pacific "engaged hostility toward the employee for reporting the injury."

Along with the $10,000 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages (as well as legal fees), Union Pacific must remove disciplinary notations from the employee's record and provide information to all workers on whistleblower rights.

"Union Pacific has received and is reviewing OSHA's decision," spokeswoman Calli Hite told Omaha.com. "Union Pacific complies with the Federal Railway Safety Act, and employee, customer and public safety is its top priority."

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Id sure like to know how far osha is willing to go back in time to give employees protection from wrongful termination for reporting an injury as they sure werent there for me in 2006

December 07 2014 at 11:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diane Stearns

The Union Pacific's slogan is "We can handle it." Well, they didn't handle that one very well. However, $85,000.00 is only chump change to them....

December 07 2014 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i make over 100k a year working for UP.

December 07 2014 at 2:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I worked for them for a grand total of 4 months. Seems some people were jealous of my accomplishements in life and wanted me out. Paid a visit to the UP boss almost every week with another accusation. Finally told them to pack sand. The irony of it all is that the accuser got fired a few months later for putting 5 locomotives on their side. And no one came to defend him. The UP boss had a heart attack also.

December 07 2014 at 11:23 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chucki42's comment


December 21 2014 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I worked for the Union Pacific in the 70's in Los Angeles, the company slogan was "We Are Family". No more.

April 24 2014 at 5:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bigdog's comment

It is now, We were family.

May 02 2014 at 12:29 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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